A/N 1: Hey guys! Got a new one for you. I've been having a bad time personally, and as such I've been having trouble writing. So I got on the CastleFanficPrompts page on Tumblr to see what I could find and came across one that I'll post at the end. I managed to toss this off in a couple of hours which was amazing considering. This deals with menstruation, so warning if that makes you squicky. I hope you enjoy! (Set Season 2, sometime after 'When the Bough Breaks')

XXXXXX

A Huge Favor

"Oh, no. No, no no no!" Kate Beckett dug through her purse, stopping just short of dumping the contents on the floor of the restroom stall. Where the hell was that case?

Then she remembered. She'd taken the plastic case out of her purse to refill after she'd finished for the month, and discovered she was out. She'd just gone to the grocery store and only made a mental note to pick up a new box. Which she had promptly forgotten when these new murders began. Why hadn't she written it down? Idiot. She leaned down and fished her phone out of her jeans pocket and sent a quick text to Lanie.

Hey, you wouldn't by any chance have a tampon I could have? I forgot to buy some and it's day one.

Lanie didn't answer. Crap. She must be doing the autopsy on their latest victim. This case was going to be the death (ha ha) of them all.

The headlines hadn't helped.

The New York Ripper… Jack reincarnated?

4 women dead, will the NY Ripper equal or surpass Jack?

God, Kate hated tabloids.

Needless to say, it was all hands on deck. Kate didn't think Captain Montgomery would let her take a long enough break to run to the nearest bodega. She understood, right now she was in charge of putting together case notes from four different precincts, trying to find something that would lead them to their killer. At this point the only thing they had was that the murders were connected.

Kate glanced at her watch. Shit, she'd taken too long in here. Montgomery was probably going to have someone stick their head in and yell at her to get back to work – if he didn't do it himself.

Wadding up some toilet paper, Kate got up and flushed. She moved to the vending machine that she'd never seen filled, and sure enough, it was empty.

Son of a…

She'd ask Karpowski as soon as she got back to the bullpen. No. Wait. Roslyn had been injured last week running down a suspect in a different case. Not too serious – thank goodness for Ros's sake – a sprained knee and ankle, her doctor had given her bed rest for a week and some good drugs. She'd be back to work on desk duty in a couple of days.

A couple of days didn't help Kate now, though. Damn it, she wished bodegas delivered. Thank God she'd worn dark clothing today.

Waddling a little as she went back to her desk, she noticed Castle look up from his phone with concern.

"You okay, Beckett?" he asked, looking at the way she was walking.

"Fine, Castle," she answered a little acerbically. "Nothing I need to discuss with you at any rate."

She sighed at his slightly hurt expression.

"I'm sorry, Castle," she apologized. "I do have a little problem, but there's nothing you can do about it, so forget it."

Kate began looking around the bullpen for a woman she could maybe send a quick IM to, and checked her phone again in case Lanie had answered.

Damn it where was Stegner?

Castle was frowning when she looked back at him.

"Castle…"

"Beckett – Kate, something's bothering you, let me help you if I can."

"You can't, Castle. You know, maybe you should just head home. I'm stuck with desk work until we get this figured out. So no real excitement for Nikki research."

"How do you know I can't help, if you won't tell me?" Rick asked in frustration. Okay, maybe he was laying it on a little thick, but it was obvious Kate was uncomfortable, why wouldn't she just let him help her out?

"You wouldn't understand." She felt her face heat and lowered her head hoping Castle wouldn't see it.

He did see, and that was enough for him to get it.

"Ah."

Kate's head shot up in shock. He couldn't…

"I'm the only child of a single mother, Kate," he pointed out quietly as she stared at him open mouthed. "And I'm the single father of a teenage daughter."

Kate sat back in her chair looking anywhere but at him. How? He was writing books about her, how was he able to read her like a book too?

"Castle, I am not asking you…" she began, but he interrupted.

"I know you're not. I'm offering." He stood and picked up his jacket, draping it over his arm. He leaned over the desk stopping inches from Kate's face.

"Text me your brand and whatever else you need. I'll be back in a few minutes."

Beckett watched in stunned astonishment as Castle walked to the elevator. When he stepped in he turned around, looked her in the eye and wiggled his thumbs as though texting.

She rolled her eyes, not sure if it was at him or herself. The fact that Castle was so nonchalant about this surprised her a little though. His personality…

Which personality, Beckett? His public or private?

She knew they were two different things. When they first met after the Tisdale case, he was all playboy. She saw glimpses of a more serious man, but it wasn't until their second case, when he asked if she really had to contact Sara Manning's parents, that she realized he was made of sterner stuff than she'd originally thought.

What she needed now was a necessity, and she knew – playboy or not – class clown or not – Castle could and would be discreet if she needed him to be. But she'd never asked any man – nor would any man she'd ever been with go without a lot of bellyaching – to do this for her. It was too weird to ask. But he'd had a point about his mother and daughter. Maybe when he was married to Gina she had explained it all to Alexis, but as hands on as Rick was, he would have been right there too.

Kate picked up her phone and shot the information off to Castle before she could change her mind.

XXXXXX

Fifteen minutes later Castle strolled back into the precinct holding a paper bag.

"Where's Beckett?" he asked.

"Break room," Ryan told him. "She's acting like she doesn't feel well, but short of making a run for the restroom hand over mouth, nobody's going home sick today."

"Gotcha," Castle frowned, and went into the break room, where he saw Kate leaning over the counter in front of the coffee maker.

"I'm back," he announced. "You okay, Beckett?"

"This position eases things for a minute," she stood up straight. "Unfortunately only a minute," she winced.

"Good thing I picked up a bottle as well as a box." He handed her the bag. "I got a paper bag for the privacy. Opaque you know."

"Thanks, Castle." Beckett looked in the sack and smiled at the painkillers – and chocolate bar he had added to her request.

"I owe you, big time. I'll just…" she moved to the door.

"Any time Kate," Rick replied. "Don't ever be afraid to ask me for help – no matter what it is."

Kate smiled and moved off to the restroom. Her phone beeped as she entered, Lanie had finally answered her text.

I'm so sorry, girl! I just finished Mary Taran's autopsy. I hope you were able to get something.

Kate grinned and texted back.

It was touch and go for a bit, but things are taken care of. Maybe tomorrow after work we can get a drink?

A few seconds passed.

You got it girlfriend. Back to the grind.

Back to the grind indeed. Kate wondered what Lanie would say when she told her Castle was her hero.

She could already hear the squeal.

XXXXXX

A/N 2: The prompt was:

Beckett runs out of tampons at the precinct, and Gates won't let anyone leave because their case is so high profile. Beckett has to ask Castle to go buy her some. Writers choice if it happens pre or post them beginning to date.

When I started writing it just naturally came out as a Season 2 fic, so instead of Captain Gates, I used Montgomery. So, if you're still around Anon, I hope that's okay!

I know that NY bodegas deliver now due to the pandemic, but I couldn't find if they did in 2009, so if they did, oh well, lol.

I'd love to hear what you think!